Easy Breezy Hipster Dog Halloween Costume

Dog Halloween Costume DIY Hipster I Luna B @ Happy Chapter

Year after year I feel like Halloween costumes just get better and more creative. I’ve never been great at coming up with the best Halloween costumes and I think that makes me sort of dread the whole thing. My husband Mark, on the other hand, is a genius and he has the best ideas. Before we had baby Harper, Luna B was our first “dressing up your baby” experience for Halloween. Here’s a little throwback to Luna’s AWARD WINNING (yup!) Hipster Dog Halloween Costume.

Hipster Halloween Dog Costume I Luna B @ Happy Chapter

This costume was super easy to put together. Here’s what we did.

  • Bought a Doggy Jacket from Homegoods (love that place).
  • Bought a children’s sized hat and some baby socks with a shoe print from Target (love that place too!).
  • Hot glued a Pabst Blue Ribbon can to Luna’s jacket as well as a pack of cigarettes, we don’t smoke but one of our friends donated this to us.
  • Snagged an old pair of glasses from a thrift store.

Hipster Halloween Dog Costume I Luna B @ Happy Chapter

Sorry for the blurry iPhone picture. As you can see, Luna wasn’t entirely impressed with the outfit, but we took her to a dog Halloween party at her doggy daycare and she took home 2nd place! I hope this little outfit doesn’t offend anyone, we just had fun with it and thought Luna looked pretty cute. What creative costumes are you using this year or have you seen?

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Obsessed: Refinished Nursery Furniture

Mid Century Painted Dresser by Happy Chapter in Woodland Theme Nursery

Lately I’ve been on a Nursery Furniture kick. I’m loving the fact that we go above and beyond to make the nursery such a warm, cozy and personal environment for our new arriving family members. You know, sometimes the stuff you get at the store just won’t cut it. This week’s obsession is refinished nursery furniture. These are my favorites!
Obsessed: Refinished Nursery Furniture I Happy Chapter

A refinished dresser by Helen Nichole Designs, I’m absolutely in love with this color.


Obsessed: Refinished Nursery Furniture I Happy Chapter

Seriously, how lucky is this little stylish baby that has this gorgeous piece in her room? Unfortunately I couldn’t find the source for this, but it was too cute not to include.


Obsessed: Refinished Nursery Furniture I Happy Chapter
Oooh I’ve been loving this pink blush, and look at this beauty with the classy gold pulls. Redone by Cuckoo4Design. Love.

Obsessed: Refinished Nursery Furniture I Happy Chapter

Bookshelves. Made of drawers. Genius. Addison Meadows Lane details exactly how to get these little gems made too!


Mid Century Painted Dresser by Happy Chapter in Woodland Theme Nursery

I mean if I’m including my favorite, I have to include my last few nursery projects as well, right!? Luci’s MCM Dresser.

Custom Ikea Dresser redo by Happy Chapter

And Harper’s Custom IKEA Dresser that I made for her sassy nursery.

There is just something wonderful about a nursery. Ahhhh, babies! Am I right?

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Customizing IKEA furniture: A Sweet Chic Dresser for Our Baby Girl

Custom Ikea Dresser redo by Happy Chapter

When Mark and I found out we were having a baby girl, we couldn’t have been more excited! As soon as we found out, the nursery ideas began a-flowin’ and I was out of control. I knew I wanted her to have a piece that no one else would have and that’s where I started brainstorming and pinning up a storm. I came across this photo from Sarah Sherman Samuel and was sold.

Ikea Custom Dresser Inspiration

I wanted to do something like this for our sweet baby Harper. Her bedroom colors were roughly, Soft Pink, Mint, Gold, White and Grey. I thought a white dresser with touches of gold could be timeless and something she could use for years to come. So out we went to our nearest IKEA and snatched up the Tarva Dresser. I’ll tell you what, this sucker is not an easy build…well that’s what Mark said at least, but hey, it’s spacious, it’s the size I needed, and it’s going to be stinkin’ cute. So you do what you have to do! We picked out our paint, we picked out our drawer pulls and we were good to go!

Custom Ikea Dresser redo by Happy Chpater

The dresser comes with some thick knobs, but we wanted to add our own touch, so I started by wood filling the holes and we would drill our own holes for the pulls I got later.

While building the dresser, we did not put the bottom piece on until the end, for two reasons.

  1. We thought the legs were a little too long and we wanted to shorten them up, so Mark cut them down about 2 inches.
  2. I sprayed the entire bottom piece with the Pure Gold spray paint to give it that sort of “dipped” look.

Because I wanted this to be super smooth, we (Mark) sanded it with a 180 grit sandpaper to make it smooth enough to prime. I was preggars, so I did the design on this one and Mark did the hard work. After we sanded, we used a fairly heavy primer because sometimes when you are working with wood like this and white paint, the wood coloring can seep through over time. We used Zinsser B.I.N. primer in white. We sprayed 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint with our trusty Graco Truecoat Plus II and the finish was SMOOOOOOTH. We did sand in between with a 220 grit paper, which is a pretty important step if you want it to be buttery smoooooth.

Super excited about the way it turned out.


Custom Ikea Dresser redo by Happy Chapter

Custom Ikea Dresser redo by Happy Chapter

And now our little angel baby cakes has a custom dresser she can use for years!


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To Paint or Not to Paint? A Mid Century Modern Dresser fit for a Princess

Mid Century Painted Dresser by Happy Chapter

When I saw this dresser at a garage sale, I’d felt like I won the lottery. I guess I’m a sucker for old beat up stuff. Please don’t hate me for painting this beauty, but I saw it and I had a vision.

A Midcentury Dresser Before redo by Happy Chapter

The dresser wasn’t in the greatest shape and needed some love. I needed to refill some areas, and there was plenty of torn veneer, so it would have been quite a mission, not to mention pretty expensive, to restore it to the original look anyway. I love commas. ANYWAY…I was a little uncertain about using chalk paint on something mid century modern, but I was looking for a flat matte look and knew the ol’ Annie Sloan chalk paint would do the trick. Plus HEY! No Sanding, No Priming. I’m in!

After I cleaned and filled holes and any damaged areas with wood filler, I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White using this step by step painting process. Next, I shined up the original drawer pulls, but decided they needed an extra umph! and painted them with Rustoleum Metallic spray paint in Pure Gold to match some super sleek square knobs I found for the top drawer. I’m in love with the final look.

Mid Century Painted Dresser by Happy Chapter

Mid Century Painted Dresser by Happy Chapter

A very close friend of mine purchased this piece for her little girl’s “A Woodland” themed nursery and it looked just perfect in there.

Mid Century Painted Dresser by Happy Chapter in Woodland Theme Nursery

So tell me, would you do it? Do you think you could paint an oldie like this?

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Obsessed: Fall Paint Colors

If you are anything like me, you know a good paint color can make all the difference. Whether it’s furniture, a wall or even an accessory in a room, color can create the soothing feel or the fun funky feel you are going for. My color preferences literally do change with the seasons, (well in some cases) Here are my favorite current paint colors. Now, I just need something to paint!!

My Houzz: The Richards


Lake Fayetteville Home


Master Bedroom : Stately Modern Style


Loft Upon Cork

And last but not least, I am just dying to paint something with this gorgeous blush color. I saw it in a cute store called Revival here in Austin and I immediately went home to see what I could paint in our house. I’m thinking Harper’s reading nook table? Hmmm. Here it is on a wall.

My Houzz: A 1920s Dutch Doctor

Ahhhh, paint. Any you know of that I just must see?

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Obsessed: 9 Baby Eating Essentials

9 Baby Eating Essentials When Your Baby Starts Solids I Happy Chapter

I’m starting out my “Obsessed” series with 9 Baby Eating Essentials that I love. Harper wasn’t really into the whole eating thing and let me tell ya…it stressed me out. She was offered solids at 6 months and wouldn’t accept them until 10.5 months, yes you read that right. So if you are currently in this situation and worrying, don’t. Keep trying, but don’t stress. Save yourself the sanity.

ANYWHO, she eats and drinks whole milk now and there are some pretty cool things out there that we love so I thought I’d share.


Just a note: the ezpz Happy Mat does not fit on the IKEA highchair well, and it doesn’t stay. We use the mat at the table and when we eat out from time to time. The IKEA highchair is a breeze to wipe down, it isn’t a bit fancy, but it does the job! Lastly, the Contigo waterbottle can be a bit heavy to start out with, but once your little one gets the hang of the straw and can lift it, it’s a great non leaking sippy! (you can sometimes find them at Costco as well.)

What are your favorite, can’t live without eating essentials? I mean there HAS to be more cool fun little things to try!


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A Mid Century Modern Table Refinished – The Stories a Piece Holds

Mid Century Modern Dining Table

One of the things I love most about my job is that people come to me with these super unique pieces that have been in their families for eons. For the most part, they want to keep the integrity of the piece, but want to update it a bit to fit their style or just bring it back to life. It’s really an honor to get to work on a piece like that. I just can’t but help think about the happy family dinners a dining table has been a part of, or how many favorite books, toys or family photos a bookshelf has held. I love the history of these pieces and being able to restore them to their next chapter of life is such a pleasure for me!

A Mid Century Modern Dining Table Before

Mid Century Modern Table Before 2

This mid century modern dining table was one of the most fun projects I’ve worked on.  For starters, the story of this beauty is that it was once the childhood table of a friend of ours. She was ready to part with it and was going to sell it in a garage sale. Well, another close friend of ours, stopped by the sale and said something along the lines of  – Whoa! you’re selling that?! What a great piece, that would be great for our family table. So, he took it, and that’s where I come in. A gorgeous table ready for it’s next Happy Chapter with a wonderfully cute family.

Mark , my sweet husband helped me quite a bit with this table because:

  1. It’s like he can’t stand still.
  2. It was such a cool piece, he had to have his hands on the power tools to get it perfect.

We started by sanding the table down to remove all of the stain and love (like crayon/marker marks etc.) We started with a 150 grit to remove the stain and then sanded with a 100 grit paper to smooth it out and prep for the staining process. The wood was phenomenal under the stain, it was just the softest natural wood I’ve worked on.

A Mid Century Modern Dining Table refinished by Happy Chapter East Dallas

Mid Century Modern Table Sanded 2

Mid Century Modern Table Sanded 3

The wood was so soft, we definitely needed to use Minwax Wood Conditioner before we put the stain on, the wood conditioner helps to prep the wood so it will take the stain evenly.  I really recommend using this anytime you stain a piece, it’s a quick step that really makes the difference with the result of the finished project. Just apply the wood container with a synthetic brush and it’ll just soak right in.

As you can see in the before pics, the natural wood was a variety of colors. My customer had requested that the stain was natural, so I checked with her to see if she liked the difference in the colors. She loved it, so we continued on the natural route, which I’m so glad we did. This table was absolutely gorgeous natural. We stained the table with “Natural,” a Minwax Oil Based Stain. The table looked great and now we were ready to poly. This is where we hit a bump in the road.

I won’t bore you with the details, but basically this wood was so soft, the typically poly we would use for a dining table would not soak correctly and it made a terrible uneven finish – so we had to go to plan B. Plan B first consisted of starting over – Doh! We had to go all the way back to step one. After re-sanding, re-conditioning, and re-staining we were ready to “test” some new finishing products. After testing, and waiting, testing and waiting we went with Varathane’s Matte Poly. This stuff was like magic, but it did take close to 5 coats to make sure the dining table would be sufficiently protected. This particular poly did not have the amber tint most poly’s have, so it really let the “Natural” finish stand out. See the smooth finish. Note: this stuff is hard to find in store, so lately I’ve had to order from Amazon.

A Mid Century Modern Dining Table refinished by Happy Chapter East Dallas

The beautiful table was finally ready for it’s new life. Ready to be the spot where the family sits for hours, laughs and tells stories about their day. The table where homework will get done and college apps will be filled out. I can’t help but be proud to be a mini part of that.

Mid Century Modern Dining Table

A Mid Century Modern Dining Table

Mid Century Modern Table - 3

* Photo Credit for “After” Photos – Eddy Badrina

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Personalize by Painting Veneer, Laminate or IKEA Furniture

How To Paint Laminate, Veneer or IKEA furniture with Happy Chapter

It is always exciting to take on new projects, even if I’ve never done that type of piece before, I always know I’m going to learn A LOT! When I took on a big bad laminate bookshelf, I had NO idea how difficult it was going to be, it’s just a little ol’ bookshelf right? NO! So I thought I’d write about my experience to save you the trouble. Painting veneer, laminate and IKEA furniture is actually pretty easy, there are just a few things to know and it’ll be a golden experience. I mean who doesn’t want to personalize your mass made furniture to make it your own? Well it’s easy stuff – first thing is first, make sure you have the right supplies.

Zinsser Primer

  • I use this Zinsser B.I.N. primer, it can be used under oil or latex paints and is exactly what you need to get the paint to adhere well to your piece. I would highly recommend this particular primer. It seems pretty watery, and dries super fast, but it seriously holds the paint.
  • Use a fairly fine sandpaper, I used 180 grit and then 220. You aren’t trying to take the color/finish off of the furniture but you do want to scuff it a tad to get the paint to adhere.
  • And finally, your choice of painting applicator (how will you apply the paint) I used a roller, and a spray gun.

How To Paint Laminate, Veneer or IKEA furniture with Happy Chapter

  1. As always, wipe down your piece of furniture and remove any hardware that you don’t want painted.
  2. Get to scuffing! Using your 180 grit sandpaper, scuff up the piece. Try to get most of the piece evenly sanded – this will help your primer adhere to the smooth surface and will prevent chipping in the future. The picture below shows how the sanding will create a little bit of dust on your piece, but you aren’t going to be removing any of the finish, we will be painting over all that.
  3. Sanded BookshelfAfter you’ve sanded the entire thing, wipe the piece down with a damp cloth to get rid of all that dust.
  4. Prime. Using the Zinsser B.I.N. primer, paint or roll on the primer. This stuff dries quickly, so work fast and try to make your strokes as even as possible. The more uneven, the more visible the primer will be through your first coat of paint. Which reminds me, this particular primer can be tinted! Yup, how awesome so if you are using a darker color, just have the hardware store tint your primer so you don’t have to worry about white showing through (although tinting is not necessary, it does make it easier).
  5. Once your primer is dry you can use your 220 grit sandpaper to sand down the entire piece. Note that you aren’t trying to remove any of the primer, you are just lightly sanding to give your piece that “smooth-to-the-touch-feel.” Get it nice and smooth and wipe off any dust that sanding has created.
  6. Whoo hoo! Now you can paint. Remember, you have choices here, you can spray your paint with a spray gun, use a nice brush (one that goes with the type of paint you are using) or you can use a roller. I prefer a spray guy. I use the Graco Truecoat Plus II and I LOVE it!
  7. Do a few coats, allowing your paint to dry the recommended amount of time in between coats.

Here is the final bookshelf – I know it seems weird to just paint it white, but this particular piece matched my customer’s wall perfectly, so it looked like it was a built in, it turned out really nice.

Final Bookshelf

and smooth!

Smooth Shelf

I also used the exact same steps to personalize a dog bowl for some of our great friends. I love how their sweet dog Cin Cin now has a custom bowl that is like no other!

Cin Cin Bowl Before

Cin Bowl After2

Cin Bowl After

I’d love to see some pics from some of the furniture you’ve personalized with paint!!

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A Fancy French Provincial Desk

French Provincial Desk After

Oh my goodness, I was so happy to have found this gorgeous little sassy desk on craigslist,  I see french provincial pieces from time to time, but they are usually too expensive for my taste, so when I saw this pop up right in my range, I snagged it right away. The thing with these french provincial pieces are they truly can go into any room and just spruce it up. The desk was a little dull when I got it, but I decided to go simple on this piece and just let the lines speak for themselves. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White using my Chalk Painting Process and the original hardware sprayed with a dark silver and brushed lightly with Old White.

French Provincial Desk Before

French Provincial Before Drawers

French Provincial Desk After

French Provincial Desk Drawers After

French Provincial Desk redone by Happy Chapter

What do you think? This piece sold before I even listed it, but if I had it for a minute, it would have gone just beautifully in our guest room. Where would you place it?



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